Food Goals: Sunday Rib Roast

Reminder! Monday, Feb 1st is the month review in numbers.  Join the fun and link up!

Sundays are the days of a warm home filled with the aroma of a delicious meal baking all afternoon. There's something about that that makes me more productive and at the same time, reminds me of being young and goofing off on weekends.  All because my mom made a killer roast and yorkshire pudding.
Today's recipes come from:
Sunday Rib Roast from Barefoot Contessa Family Style here....I strayed from the two books I have been exclusively using because I was really craving a roast.
Yorkshire pudding here (because my mom told me I had to) I rarely use random facebook recipes, but it was worth it!
Brussel Sprouts Lardon here from Barefoot Contessa in Paris.

This meal always rates in the 4s for us, it is a classic go-to that gets gobbled up in seconds, no complaints, even the muscle sprouts.  I loved this meal as a child and I'm glad my family loves it as much.  
What kinds of meals did you enjoy as a kid that you're trying to enjoy with your family? 

Link to your specific blog post (not your blog's main page).  
Please link food posts only.
Check out as many links as you can. 
Not required BUT I would love it if you link back here (mention the linkup, use the image, or my blog) 

Nostalgic #5

I thought it would be fun to throw back today to one of my first fashion posts.  I think I started in late 2013, documenting random outfits, but this post comes from the pretty much same time of year. I thought it would be fun to put on the outfit to see how it looks now, or how I would style the exact same clothes 2 years later, but you'll have to come back on Wednesday for that to see my teacher look...  As for my two year through back, you can read the original post here or just continue on.

Jan 31, 2014

Last year, in order to keep my winter wardrobe innovating, I decided to force myself to make an outfit out of whatever came next in the shirt section of my closet.    Twas loads of fun inventing outfits plus it helped me get rid of things I wasn't really using.
This year I plan on resorting to Pinterest to recreate some outfits that I have seen and loved and figured that I could likely pull off with what I have.
For January, I decided to focus on a deep purple/maroon/burgundy/wine...really? what colour is this???? combo with browns/creams and blacks.



Free People top, ON SALE RIGHT MEOW! &  pants from Winners last year

1- Signorelli Sweater from the Bay..can't find it online, old Guess boots.
2- Aritzia sweater, Sanibel pennant (Stella Dot)
3- Old BCBG top from Bay, GoodNight Macaroon faux fur vest, Lia Sophia necklace

side note: I should really get another maroon piece for my wardrobe.  Repeating the same pants over the course of 3 weeks was no fun.  Maybe a maroon blazer? Or textured leggings???  Also? I need to work on taking better pictures....

Up in February will be the dressing up of oversized sweaters, me thinks.  I may change my mind.

Food Goals: Pear Clafouti

Welcome to Friday Food Goals. You can see my past posts here.

This week I'm showing you the Pear Clafoutis from Barefoot in Paris.  I was really excited to try this recipe because I got to buy liqueur and also because it was très français.  I like french and dessert, so we all win.

This was an extremely easy recipe to assemble and was quite tasty too.  I would make this one again.

I should add that all three recipes that I have used so far in my quest to cook an entire cookbook (despite not knowing what half the ingredients are) also coincided with a Halloween party that Alynne was throwing (yes, I started this awhile ago so I could have a stockpile before I started the blog series.) Anyway, the girls all got to sample a little bit of this and a lot of that.  I did take notes on their ratings:
In retrospect, I wish I would have recorded who gave which grade and what scale I was using. Ugh. I shall improve this for next week.
Beatty's Chocolate Cake (last week): 5, 4.5 and a 4.  (I'm pretty sure the scale was out of 5)
Apple Spice Cake (first post): 5, 4
Pear Clafoutis: 4, 5, 5.


I remember these scores surprising me because I didn't think the Apple Spice Cake would fare well, nor the Clafoutis. 
But then again, I am a chocolate cake girl through and can you not resist?

Now time for the link up!

Link to your specific blog post (not your blog's main page).  
Please link food posts only.
Check out as many links as you can. 
Not required BUT I would love it if you link back here (mention the linkup, or my blog) 

What to Wear, the registration

What to Wear?

Alright peeps, I had a revelation last week. My entire January wardrobe consists of monotonous greys and blacks.  I need some inspiration.
Enter my blogging friend, Lisa.  You can read about her here.  I was super excited to see that she has compiled a series to help with just that- what basics should one have in her closet?  It's always good to have the building blocks in place and really, I am starting to wonder if I even have those.
Lisa has great style and always puts together beautiful outfits and I am confidant she will provide great suggestions.  I can't wait for this group to start and will definitely be signing up.  You should try it out with me too!

online stylist, what to wear winter
Do you need some style inspiration this winter? 
Do you want to get to know other women - and share in some fashion fun?  Join a new series called DAILY STYLE FINDS: WHAT TO WEAR. 

  Daily Style Finds: What to Wear will show you how with only 15 wardrobe essential pieces (the ones all women should have in their closet) - you can create 20 stylish, on-trend head-to-toe looks. Each of the 20 looks will be presented in a stylish format, along with some beauty suggestions. And, so, this meets everyone’s needs, you will be provided with both casual and work/professional options, so that each look works for all lifestyles. In addition, as women, we like to seek inspiration and input from others - so as a participant, you will have access to an exclusive Daily Style Finds: What to Wear online community where you can ask style questions, share what you are wearing, and find more style inspiration.

You can get this for FREE if you are one of the first 5 readers to sign-up using the discount code (Code: shoestoshiraz). In addition, for all that register, you will have a chance to win $50 PayPal cash or a $50 Nordstrom Gift Card. If you are not quick enough to grab one of the first spots, you can still register for only $9.95.

The ultimate goal of the series is to help you feel more confident, save time figuring out what to wear each day, and shop more wisely. And, of course, have FUN in the process.

Registration begins January 19, and the series will begin on February 1.

This is sure to be a fun, new, and stylish adventure!

Come back tomorrow for the registration link, remember, first 5 of you to sign up with my code get the series for free!

what to wear winter

Food Goals: Beatty's Chocolate Cake

Welcome to my new Friday series: Friday Food Goals.  
I introduced this series back in December with an Apple Spice Cake as my first attempt to cook my way through a couple Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, à la Julie & Julia.  I'm now ready to provide you with weekly updates on my culinary conquest (read- I have enough of a buffer recipes complete to save room for a few flops.)

Today I'm showing you Beatty's Chocolate Cake with chocolate frosting both from the Barefoot Contessa Home book. (I will be jumping through 2 books in this series, her Home and Barefoot in Paris.  Yum!)
This was an extremely easy recipe and delicious too...I may or may not be salivating as I type this.

I free-styled and added what is left out of summer strawberry pickings, which was just the most delightful way to top this seriously moist and chocolaty cake.

This cake got rave reviews from the kids and the husband...but seriously, one can't go wrong with chocolate cake, n'est-ce pas?

Next week I'll be starting a link up for this Friday post so you can share your favourite food posts!
Have a great weekend.

The tale of Lucia and the brain machine

Once upon a time there was a little girl.  And the word little,there, was quite exactly that.

At 6 months old, her doctor noticed that she wasn't growing at the rate she should be.  So she was recommended to a pediatrician who proceeded with a plethora of tests.  Her mommy didn't enjoy this pediatrician, but that was mostly because there were so. many. tests and it took so. much. time.  But then again, mommy isn't exactly known for her patience.
The little girl did not enjoy these tests and even more so, her mom was a mess. The little girl was tested for Cystic Fibrosis, Dwarfism and many other things.  It wasn't fun for the sweet baby to be poked and prodded over the course of a year.  Did Mommy mention she was starting to get impatient?? 
Finally everything was ruled out and it was down to the last possibility: a growth hormone deficiency.  The test to diagnose this would not prove to be easy, you see, the little girl's veins were so tiny that they could never get a needle in to draw the blood and do the injections.  This was a feat that not even the preemie IV specialist guy could conquer.  The little girl's parents were running short on hope when finally in January of 2013 they were successful getting the IV in and the day of testing was completed.  After 4 trips to the hospital for the treatments.  Yes, Mommy was frustrated.

In February that year, the little girl would start her nightly needles until she is in her teens.  That's a lot of needles.  Ya, like 4000+.  Good thing we have a sharps' container and don't leave them laying around.  Also nice that our pharmacist is the little girl's uncle and we get airmiles for the thousands and thousands of dollars spent monthly on her meds.  Also grateful for health care. Just saying.
The first while was a fight with lots of tears and eventually the little girl got a hang of it and would take them like a champ.  Other family members have been able to give her the nightly injections too. Her current fave is Grandpa.   Her dosage has changed in the past 3 years as she reacts to the drug and grows, grows, grows. Has Mommy mentioned how much she enjoys shopping for a little girl who keeps growing? Along with the nightly needles, the little girl was checkups with her pediatric endocrinologist every 4 months and a bone scan done on her hands every year to make sure her bone age keeps up with her growing...she's behind on this, but that means she will grow for a longer period along with blood work to make sure her other hormones aren't being affected, like the thyroid.
To date, the little girl has had the best case scenario reaction to the drugs and has grown leaps and bounds.  She is no longer in the 0th percentile but the 50th and is, in fact, no longer a little girl.  I know I shouldn't keep comparing her to her cousin, Kinsey, who is 7 weeks older than her, but it is so nice to see them the same size when Lucia spent so many years looking like Kinsey's little sister.  

The brave big girl faced one of the last big tests this week, getting the MRI.  To be honest,  the brave big girl was more excited than her parents.  In fact, the morning of, she was thrilled to see the machine and really really wanted to see pictures of her brain.  She was feeling proud and privileged that she gets to see inside her brain while in a machine. She also thought the machine looked like a laundry machine.  So she put on a brave, but serious face during the talks with the nurses and anesthesiologist and without even looking back, went off to get her treatment done.  Thankfully, the anesthesiologist was a parent of kids' her mommy teaches, so that left everyone feeling at ease.  

waiting and learning before

waiting and playing before

resting and relaxing after

back to her normal self after

When her mom and dad got to see her in recovery, the big girl was groggy and confused but really really wanted her red popsicle.  And that she got.  No punches were thrown this time and she reacted much better to the drugs.  Mommy is very grateful for this.  The big girl remained sleepy until she got home, got cozied up in bed with her mom, eating crackers and drinking water and watching some random show (with creepy fairy pixies that looked like Pokemon) on Netflix and slowly she started to wake up. Meanwhile her mommy wrote down all her memories of the day, dreaming of a glass of red wine.  By the time her brother got home from school, she was jumping on the bed Lucia, not her mommy, ready to tell him tall tales from her adventure with the big brain (washing?) machine.
The End. (1)
Here is Lucia's version of her day.  Not even abridged. This was all she chose to remember:
The Dr. gave me a mask that made me sleep and I got a popsicle when it was done.  It was red. They put the needle in my hand. I didn't even feel it.  Before it, they gave me a stuffie.  It's a Polar Bear.  (  The End (2)

Editor's note

I like to talk tough and put on a strong facade facing hurdles in life, when in reality, I'm usually a bundle of anxious nerves who can easily get sucked down the vortex of scary possibilities if I let my mind go that way.  I have come to realize that that is parenting and the sooner I can get in control of the places my mind wants to go, the better off I am.  I need to remember that this is Lucia's story and I am no help to her if I am a mess.  Funny thing is, talking with Dan while we waited for her during the MRI, we were both worrying about completely different things and we both thought the other's worries were completely far-fetched and not realistic that his worries weren't even on my radar and vice-versa.  Perspective.  In the end we only want what's best for our children and it is hard to see them living trials and tribulations in life, but such is life and if we can teach them that it's okay to be scared, but that you have great people who you can hang a little harder on during these times, then I think everything will be okay.
Do all things with love, n'est-ce pas?

The End (3)

December in Numbers

I sat down to write this post and realized that December is a blur of Christmas prep, end of semester prep, trying to get healthy and far too many sugar cookies.  And also that I just did my year in review video so doing this post feels a little bit redundant. But because I can't think of anything else I want to write about it goes.  You can read my previous posts here.

This is my December in numbers, along with a goal I'm giving myself:

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